The Secret Hours

Cover of the book, The Secret Hours.

Written by:

Published by: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction

★★★★★
★★★★★

4.37, based on 428 reviews.

Goodreads says:

‘Let the wind take me and the soft rain settle me into the Irish soil from where I came. And may my sins be forgiven.’ Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea. All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate? Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story. Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.

Waterstones says:

Signed Edition

The enchanting new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author, Santa Montefiore. The perfect summer read for 2019!

'Let the wind take me and the soft rain settle me into the Irish soil from where I came. And may my sins be forgiven.'

Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.

All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa's estate?

Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story. Faye feels bereft, as if her mother's whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother's last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa's insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
4.37 out of 5 stars (428 ratings)
5 54% (233 ratings)
4 31% (133 ratings)
3 12% (52 ratings)
2 2% (8 ratings)
1 0% (2 ratings)

About Santa Montefiore

Born in England in 1970 Santa Montefiore grew up on a farm in Hampshire and was educated at Sherborne School for Girls. She read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University and spent much of the 90s in Buenos Aires, where her mother grew up. She converted to Judaism in 1998 and married historian Simon Sebag Montefiore in the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha in London.

Santa Montefiore's novels have been translated into twenty languages...
[Read more about Santa Montefiore]


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